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The Phases of a WomanPublished:
Alright, ladies, this one's for you! Gentlemen, you may read too; this info is fantastic!
Do you find there are weeks when you do NOT feel like working out? Or when you do decide to work out, for some reason, everything feels like it's 14x more challenging than the week before??? How many times a month do you find yourself standing in front of the mirror to see how bloated you are? Or stare down at your tummy in the shower, wondering why it looks bigger?!?
This all then leads to some harsh words spoken to ourselves about how we look, and of course, that doesn't help at all! But here's the good news, that is normal, and you are not alone.
This article will talk about the menstrual cycle and how as the body changes, our mindset and habits should too.
Let's start with this, we want to and should celebrate that our bodies can do SUCH unique, intricate, and beautiful things like SUSTAINING A LIFE INSIDE US. So awesome. What doesn't always feel awesome are the symptoms we face during the phases of our cycle. Sometimes we may feel extreme fatigue even though we've had a good night's rest; other times, we may feel intense anger or sadness over something logically we recognize is small and not THAT important. We can ultimately feel a little bit out of sorts and unable to fully control our responses to things. *cue a lot of apologizing*
But that cannot stop us from doing our best day today to stay healthy inside and out. So what's the solution?
Well, there is not one.
But there are SO many ways to manage our internal world better, so give us the best possible chance of moving through these phases with grace.
The first and potentially best thing we can do for ourselves is to be aware of what phase our body is in and how it affects us and those around us.
This is a very layman's version of the Menstrual Phases.
First, The menstrual phase breaks into four separate phases.
Most of the more significant fluctuations we experience in the follicular and luteal phases, so we will focus on those two and see what we can learn from them.
During the follicular phase, we feel AWESOME! Our energy is at an all-time high. We should focus on higher intensity workouts (if you're into that) or big family beach days, hiking a mountain or two, or even bathing your doggies - anything that may take immense energy. Use this extra energy to do something that brings you joy and creates a memory that you can reflect on during the more harrowing moments in the following phases.
This brings us to the luteal phase. Many women report some sort of emotional variance during this phase and may describe that as a "micro existential crisis." This time where the questions about who they are and what they are doing in the world surface, and once those questions are on the table, the day-to-day tasks and to-do's become less important.
This is not a bad thing. This is a normal thing.
The Luteal phase forces us to slow down a bit and choose to reset priorities, shift focus, reel in habits, and become more grounded and focused on today and the days ahead. We are pretty programmed to push our feelings and body signals to the wayside for the sake of our regularly scheduled programming, but we are human; we are fragile and fluid and often need to remember that rest makes us stronger.
Don't force yourself to stay in your routine during this time.
Take a walk, call a friend, journal, read, and go for a long drive with the windows down and your favorite music playing.
Taking care of this part of yourself every month will carry into the next phase and create a stable and safe place for who you are becoming - to grow.